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Glen Assoun to receive initial compensation payment for wrongful murder conviction

Glen Assoun, the Nova Scotia man who spent almost 17 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, stands outside Supreme Court in Halifax on Friday, July 12, 2019. A Halifax man is going to receive preliminary compensation from federal and provincial governments after he spent almost 17 years in prison as the result of his wrongful conviction for the murder of his former girlfriend. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX — A Halifax man will receive preliminary compensation from the federal and provincial governments after spending almost 17 years in prison as the result of a wrongful conviction for the murder of his former girlfriend.

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey says the agreement for an undisclosed amount of financial help for Glen Assoun was finalized Wednesday.

The 63-year-old Assoun was convicted in 1999 of the knifing murder of Brenda Way four years earlier.

In addition to his time in prison, Assoun spent more than four years on bail before being exonerated earlier this year.

Assoun’s lawyers have said some immediate compensation is important for their client because he has been living in poverty and has health problems related to his incarceration.

His lawyers have said the preliminary payment is to cover his expenses as the legal team either negotiates or litigates full compensation from the two levels of government.

Furey says he has not decided yet on whether to hold a public inquiry into the case — or whether to provide an apology to Assoun.

Opposition leaders in Ottawa and Nova Scotia have called for some kind of probe into the destruction of potential evidence prepared by Const. Dave Moore, an analyst in an RCMP unit that looked at the behaviour of serial offenders.

A federal Justice Department report made public on July 12 revealed that the RCMP erased and disposed of Moore’s theories of other suspects — including multiple murderer Michael McGray — in the Brenda Way case.

The federal report says McGray has denied killing Way, and McGray, who is incarcerated, has declined interview requests.

The Canadian Press